Homeopathy Papers

Dr. James Burnett, a Devoted Homeopath!

Written by Iman Navab

Iman Navab talks about one of the pioneers of homeopathy, Dr. Burnett.

One of the stars of the science of Homeopathy is indeed Dr. James Compton Burnett. He was born on July 20th of 1840, near Salisbury, Wiltshire. He qualified with honours from an orthodox medical school in Vienna in 1869, and then from Glasgow in 1876. He was awarded the Gold Medal in Anatomy upon graduation.

 As a young boy, James had a rare insight into the realities of life, and was possessed of a largeness of heart that extended a worldwide charity to all human interests. He was never deluded by the affectations and conventionalities of modern society, nor of the academies. While most medical men only see what they have been told to look for, and see it only in the light they have been told to see it, Dr. Burnett was able to use his own judgment to obtain information from Nature, at first hand. It was this independence and originality which gave him his unique power over complicated problems, and which made his patients feel that here was a man who was not content to form opinions only.

According to references, James was a dark-eyed, dreamy boy who grew rapidly. By the age of twenty-one he had attained the size and weight which he afterwards always maintained, both being much above the average. Brought up in the country, in early life he was left much to his own devices, and was always thoughtful beyond his years. He had an ordinary English education until he reached the age of sixteen, when he was sent to school in France, where he remained for a term of about three years. After this he travelled for several years, principally on the Continent, studying philology, the love of which in him amounted almost to a passion.

At one time he even had serious thoughts of devoting his life to that study. The effect of this is seen in the vivid literary style of which he was master. His unerring perception of the value of words is one of the many charms which make his books no less delightful reading than they are instructive and inspiring. Anatomy was the subject which fascinated him most, and he devoted to this science two years more of his time than the ordinary curriculum demanded. He prepared many valuable specimens for his professors during that term, and most of these are now preserved in the Pathological Museum of Vienna. Passing through a brilliant examination in anatomy, lasting one hour and a half, the professor shook hands with him, saying that he had never examined a student with so brilliant and thorough knowledge of anatomy.

During his medical profession, it was Dr. Richard Hughes’ book,A Manual of Pharmacodynamics,the first respected Homeopathic textbook published in English, which had recruited Burnett himself and practically the whole of Burnett’s generation of rising young homeopaths in Britain.

As a Homeopath Burnett was a productive writer and wrote twenty six books about many aspects of homeopathy. Some of his books are:

Fifty Reasons for Being a Homeopath -1888
Natrum mur as a Test of the Doctrine of Drug Dynamization -1878
Curability of Cataract by Medicines – 1880
Tumours of the Breast and their Cure – 1888
The New Cure of Consumption – 1890
Curability of Tumours with Medicine -1898

One of Dr. Burnett’s famous Homeopathic books is called “Fifty Reasons for being a Homeopath.” Dr. Burnett was provoked to write this work by some remarks made by a young allopathic medical man who regarded Homeopaths as quacks, and challenged Burnett to produce the fifty reasons, which he did, and Dr. Burnett replied “I could give fifty reasons for being a Homoeopath that if not singly, at least collectively, would convince a stone”.

On behalf of the Homeopathy community around the world, I would like to thank Dr. Burnett for his dedication in defending Homeopathy! God bless his soul.

Ref: Biography – Life and Work of James Compton Burnett, 1904

About the author

Iman Navab

Iman Navab is a certified classical Homeopath and doctor of alternative medicine from Canada. He is the President of the Applied Research in Homeopathy Foundation of Canada (www.ARHFC.ca). He is the author of 'Miasma of Cancer', and is a historian of Homeopathy. Iman teaches History and Philosophy of Homeopathy at the Canadian College of Holistic Health. Navab gives lectures and seminars to raise awareness about the rich history of Homeopathy.


  • Dear Doc,
    I fully agree with Ur potrayal of one of pioneers of Homoeopathy Infact Burnett inspired us to take up rather unimaginable cases in early days of our practice.I must say his booklet on Congenital cleft lip & palate inspired me treat congenital Foetal anomalies in vivo which gave beautiful results thxs

    • Hello Doctor Rekha,

      I am six months pregnant, had an anomaly scan done and found out there is cleft lip and palate. Your above comment made me to reply you, is there any way to treat this before birth?

      Please do reply here or contact to my email ID.

  • hi, i am student of homeopathy. i have passed my first year exam. Want to know some of the good books which can help me.

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